A week ago today- on orders from Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC) Board of Directors and General Manager Bob Marshall, trucks arrived at our house- demanded to install a meter that emits radiation my doctor has advised them in writing is dangerous to my health- and when we refused, crews disconnected the power at the pole, leaving us to cope with no electricity in an all-electric house. The day after, they were back with a camera and a telephoto lens, taking photos into our home.
And all this from a supposed “cooperative.”
Because of the drought in California and other factors (including PSREC’s $50 million debt) they are raising rates that are already higher than PG&E’s (some of the highest in the US). We attended a meeting on rate increases last night in Portola, and PSREC General Manager Bob Marshall grew very agitated when he realized I was filming the meeting and my partner’s comments about our illegal disconnection. That’s strange as they seem to have no problem filming us. Yet when I record a utility rate-setting meeting, I am threatened with the sheriff. Lovely.
I called Bob Marshall earlier in the day and insisted that PSREC switch on our electricity, as we are paying customers. He literally screamed at me, telling me he would “leave us in the dark” and calling me a “clown.” That’s right folks, he’s just disconnected the electricity to the home of paying customers and we are the bullies. I assume the “threats” he refers to in the above video were in fact me letting him know in no uncertain terms that we would be speaking to local governments and the media about our disconnect and fees. In other words, publicizing and criticizing PSREC’s bad behavior.
Notice just after the 2 minute mark, Bob Marshall is beckoned by (ironically enough) the same guy who filmed our home the day after our service was cut. He tells Bob that I am recording the meeting, and Bob flies into a rage, interrupting public comment and demanding I leave. What is so bad about videotaping a meeting? There were no signs prohibiting it. What are they so afraid of?
My partner had this to say about the video above:
Watching this footage from last night causes me a great deal of sadness. Not only because of what Josh and I are going through, but also because I see, in Bob Marshall’s totally inappropriate behavior, an educated, professional man, respected in the community, coming undone. This makes me sad.
What I have tried to get through to PSREC is that we don’t want to take them down. To see Mr. Marshall so angry and acting so out of line is the exact opposite of the outcome I hope for. I would like to see him accept the evidence that PSREC’s wireless transmitting meters cause harm. I would like him to recognize that charging us for an analog when others have one for free is unfair. I want Mr. Marshall and all of the PSREC board to rise up, open their minds to the facts, and do right by their community.
Living without electricity this past week has been difficult, time consuming, and frustrating, as I have had to completely rework my home and habits to accommodate this change in our entirely electric (no gas) house. And yet we have tried to make the most of it. We’ve enjoyed the quiet simplicity of a card game. We go to bed earlier. Food tastes delicious when cooked on a wood stove. Candlelight is romantic. We feel very fortunate that we have the life skills and good health necessary to carry wood, heat up large pots of water, function by candlelight. We know that not everyone who has been cut off is capable of enduring, while others have endured for nearly a year, and our hearts are with them all in solidarity.
Standing up for what you know is right can be stressful and scary but is extremely worthwhile and affirming. We feel extremely grateful and cheered by all of the comments, well wishes, and advocacy from our neighbors and our friends fighting smart meters. Thank you. Reading your words brings light into our evenings.
A friend said yesterday that we aren’t going to get anywhere if PSREC is the enemy. I couldn’t agree more. Mr. Marshall and the PSREC board are affected by wireless just like everybody else who is made of flesh and blood. Our interests are their interests. There is no us and them. We all need to be able to work together.
It sounds like Napoleon (I mean Bob Marshall) doesn’t approve of filming. Oops…it’s a public meeting. This unkind and confused fella needs to offer an apology to the VICTIMS that are crying out. Abuse of Power on so many levels here.
VERY GOOD! Mr Marshall seems to have forgotten Public meeting Rules.
What else is he poorly informed about?
Sorry, public meeting rules don’t apply to these kinds of meetings.
Whether or not the meeting falls under ‘public meeting’ rules is irrelevant. The law is perfectly clear. When you are in a place with no reasonable expectation of privacy, it is allowed to film and record you – period.
If Mr. Marshall was relieving himself in the bathroom, he would have a reasonable expectation privacy, and it would be illegal to film him. However, speaking in a room where no one was barred from entering, he has no reasonable expectation of privacy, and it is perfectly legal to film and record him.
If you are recording someone without their knowledge in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, the person whom you’re recording may or may not have “an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation,” and the reasonableness of the expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances. Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place. See Cal. Penal Code 637.2.
Just my opinion, but this man’s ego is getting in the way of anything resembling compassion, consideration, or the best quality a man can have, doing the right thing for another fellow human being. To call your wife a bully, when she never raised her voice or said anything close to how a really bully would behave. She was polite, to the point, in trying to explain her family’s circumstance. I think he should look in a mirror to see a really bully. He protests too much, especially by the pacing back and forth, he shows that he is the true bully in the room. He may not be man enough to back off his position, especially if his paycheck and those of his fellow Cooperative and Board of Directors members are at risk, being $50 million dollars in debt. Their very way of life, their families lives are at stake. If they received federal money for the smart meter installations, the money may be feeding their families and they may feel they are required to install these meters in order to keep the money. To do the right thing, they would have to return the money, stop the installations, and declare bankruptcy. This man’s ego is a real danger to the health and safety of the entire community. I sincerely hope, as you say, that he and his fellow co-workers, can rise to the task.
Unbelievable. What a total jerk. Marshall was hotheaded and the bully. He should be ashamed. He made a total fool of himself. He has no business being on the board of directors of this so-called “cooperative”.
It’s not about anything but “Follow the money.” It’s about enhancing their wallets.
Even at the risk of harming not only their own health but also their families health.
Follow the money. These politicians at every level are arrogant…no different than Michael Peevey in his rant of “Shut up!” to the respectful audience late last year. Or his rude arrogant rant to the reporter asking him questions in when Peevey chose to go to the Spa rather than be accountable to our CA Senators who wanted to question him about the “smart meters” and illegal opt-out fees.
These politicians do not like to be held accountable for their illegal and irresponsible actions. Somehow, on some level, they must know they are wrong but too arrogant or prideful to admit their illegal activities and decisions in harming the public, including their own family. Follow the money!
I have found that same arrogance and rudeness when talking to my local City Manager about the harmful effects of smart meters. He did not want to be held accountable. Rudely ended the conversation when I tried to respectfully offer some scientific facts about the health effects to the public…he ended the conversation.
WE, THE PEOPLE, pay their salaries. They are our employees!!! The and often we seem to forget that. Being respectful and nice and giving actual facts, human and scientific does not seem to affect them. They do not want to be confused with facts – scientific or personal stories of health damage to the public. It is shameful in this country that our so called “leaders” are so hardened, arrogant and soul-less…but they are. They are not concerned about public health but their own wallets. No matter what Oath of Office they spoke with their right hand raised upon the Holy Bible they still violate the laws they took the Oath to uphold.
Fifty million dollars in debt and disconnecting paying customers? Not the best business model, eh, PSREC? Perhaps they should go back to Business 101, you know, something about the customer is always right, service with a smile, don’t kill your customers with radiation and house fires?
bully boy American dickheads. microwaving whores supported by King Hussein Obama and his CTIA puppet masters
Next time this thug or anyone else from PSREC tells you to stop filming or else the sheriff will be called, this is what you need to say:
“Call the Sheriff. I will continue filming while we await his arrival. You do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a meeting that is open to all, therefore it is perfectly legal for me to film and record you. If you attempt to physically stop me, you will be charged with assault and it *will* be on video.”
NEVER let these damn thugs tell you what you can and can’t do. When they make threats to call the Sheriff, CALL THEM ON IT. If the Sheriff sides with the thugs then you have a big fat lawsuit on your side.
You should also IMMEDIATELY initiate whatever procedure is necessary to remove this subhuman thug from a position of power over others. If this is a member-owned cooperative, then it’s time to start lobbying the membership to dump incompetent management that puts the district $50million in debt an then cuts off paying customers.